What a great Opening Day for the Chicago Cubs, who defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1. For a few brief hours, the Cubs are in first place in the National League Central Division. Cubs fans everywhere are dreaming of a miracle season where the team continues to play solid baseball and win on a consistent basis.
Starting pitcher, Jeff Samardzija not only pitched well, but he was quite stellar in his start, and had the Pirate’s hitters guessing all day. Anthony Rizzo started his year off with a home run in his first at-bat. This is a great sign for the rest of the season.
The big concerns entering the season for the Cubs were starting pitching and the bullpen. Samardzija did his best to dispel the issues associated with the staring rotation, but the bullpen exhibited the lackluster ability Cubs fans feared most.
The Cubs needed three “closers” to get through the ninth inning. Carlos Marmol was wild as usual and gave up the Pirate’s only run of the game. Eventually, the Cubs will realize that Marmol will never be a quality closer in the bigs. James Russell and Kyuji Fujikawa came in and secured the win for the Cubs, and both showed that they have what it takes to be the closer.
While I hope that the Cub’s good fortune continues, I imagine that they will quickly fall out of first place. I am not sure the starting pitchers have what it takes to compete on a daily basis, and the bullpen has also proven in one game that it cannot be relied upon.
By Reid Lester